Peter Cobb, cofounder and senior vice president of eBags, knows a thing or two about e-commerce.
The e-tailer has sold more than 14 million bags since its inception more than 13 years ago, and eBags.com carries 585 brands and 48,000 styles. It’s been profitable for a decade, but perhaps the most telling statistic for Cobb is that the site has seen 2.4 million product reviews from its outspoken consumer base.
“It was social commerce before social commerce,” Cobb said of the engaged shopping community, highlighting a specific backpack that garnered 1,811 reviews — both good and bad. When a user gives a product a “thumbs down,” this automatically alerts a customer service representative, who contacts the consumer (and the brand if a certain item gets several of the same negative complaints or comments).
However, in terms of actually selling product on social channels, eBags is still figuring out how to monetize in the space. The e-tailer has nearly 120,000 fans on the platform, but it still only accounts for less than one percent of overall sales.
For Cobb, there are several trends in online retail — the aforementioned user-generated content element, as well as large imagery, curation and personalization, scarcity leading to conversion and the innovations of tech giants. He believes that mobile shopping is “where it’s at,” and that many are underestimating the power of transaction on this channel.
He calls Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple the “four tech titans,” citing that 47 percent of global Web users visit Google every day, 43 percent visit Facebook, one third of Internet shoppers begin research on Amazon and 21 percent of iPhone users and 49 percent of iPad users shop on their devices.
According to Cobb, it’s features such as Amazon’s same-day delivery that will force other e-tailers to innovate in the same category. Having this shipping option is a “unique advantage” and he expects Macy’s, Wal-Mart, Target and Staples to follow suit.
Video is another area that Cobb wants to expand on the site. Currently, there are 800 videos, but Cobb plans to ramp this number up to the thousands in the near future.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye